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School of Leadership Honors Dr. Gary Burrus as 2024 Distinguished Alumnus

Tue, 05/28/2024 - 09:25pm | By: Melissa Scallan

Dr. Gary Burrus with Dr. Cyndi Gaudet, professor emeritus in Human Capital Development.

Dr. Gary Burrus with Dr. Cyndi Gaudet, professor emeritus in Human Capital Development.

Each year, the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) School of Leadership honors one of its alumni who serves as a role model for others and is a true scholar-practitioner with a breadth and depth of research and practice expertise.

This year, the School of Leadership has announced Dr. Gary Burrus as the recipient of the 2024 Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Burrus graduated from the Human Capital Development doctoral program in 2014 and currently serves as executive officer of Human Resources for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, which has about 13,000 employees and 225,000 tribal members.

“We are so proud to call Dr. Burrus an alumnus of our program,” said Dr. Heather Annulis, director of the School of Leadership. “He is a servant leader and continues to give back to Southern Miss through his mentorship of students and his generous philanthropy of the institution.

“He brings distinction to USM by representing the Human Capital Development Ph.D. program.”

Burrus is an award-winning executive who has more than 31 years of experience in senior-level casino/hospitality and human resources management at the corporate and national levels.

He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and applied statistical analysis from the University of South Alabama and a master’s in business and organizational security management from Webster University.

Burrus also serves as an adjunct instructor at USM, teaching hospitality and human capital development courses, as well as doctoral-level research courses. He also volunteers as a dissertation coach and guest lecturer.

“My entire experience with this school has been fulfilling, both personally and professionally,” he said. “I practice daily what I’ve learned through the program, and I’m grateful to be recognized by those whom I respect so much.”

Learn more about the School of Leadership